Record 16.6 million filed for unemployment since virus outbreak began

With a startling 6.6 million people seeking unemployment benefits last week, the United States has reached a grim landmark: More than one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks to the coronavirus outbreak.

DETROT – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to extend the stay-at-home order Thursday afternoon.

As of Thursday at noon, there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. The TCF Center -- transformed into a temporary care site for coronavirus -- is expected to accept its first 25 patients Friday.

The virus has put a lot of people out of work -- new numbers released Thursday morning show a record-breaking 16.6 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the virus began. More than 6 million have filed in April alone -- 384,000 in Michigan.

The numbers released by the Department of Labor show the largest string of job loses since 1948.

It’s estimated one in 10 workers in Michigan are out of a job. Over the last three weeks, there has been a 5,000% increase in unemployment filings compared to the three weeks prior.

RELATED: Unemployment problems: What’s being done to make the system work?

However, the 6.6 million that filed nationwide last week is down from the 6.9 million that reported the week before.

There are a lot of questions surrounding unemployment -- such as, when will the federal stimulus come in? Where will it come from?

RELATED: Here’s the expected timeline for direct stimulus payments to Americans amid coronavirus

Has Michigan done anything to make the program for filing for unemployment less dramatically slow?

The state said it had to bring in more people in order to take care of the rise in unemployment claims.

READ: How to: Applying for unemployment in Michigan

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.